Fencing: Durham wins bid for top spot

Image: Niamh Bloodfield

THE FEMALE YORK fencing team unfortunately suffered their first setback of the season after two previous wins. Falling to an unlucky defeat against Durham 2s, their main rivals for promotion, as they succumbed to a 126-102 defeat. After a slow start in the sabre, Durham were able to attain an unassailable lead, thus putting the game out of reach for York. York’s tame start to the sabre allowed the opposition to enter a commanding position, which saw them race out into a 20-3 lead in the early stages. Durham 2s, who finished in second place last season, one place ahead of York, would ultimately hold on to their initial head s t a r t a n d secure the win with a resounding 45-12 victory. Despite the courageous attempt of later matches, York were then left to play catch up in the foil and épée, a challenge which they were almost able to overcome, but unfortunately just fell short of the mark.

After losing the sabre, York came out on the attack in the foil. Looking to bounce back from the sabre result and balance out the scores after the disappointing defeat in the first event, York went on the offensive and proved to be a much sterner test for Durham in the second stage. After a fiercely c o n t e s t e d battle York eventually e m e r g e d to win the match that went down right to the wire. York won 45-40 in a game where the score line did not r e f l e c t the strength of t h e i r play. Unfortunately, York could not pull away from their opponents when they did find themselves in a lead.

After a superb victory in the second match, York followed this up with another dramatic win. After another tightly fought out battle there was a thrilling late end to the épée that saw York come from 31-40 down, to win the last event 45-41- thanks to a superb last rally from Jessi Rumble, who won 14- 1. York did themselves credit for battling valiantly on to come back from behind, in winning both the foil and èpèe. This was a great comeback and something which they can absolutely take into future games.

However, in the end, this was sadly not enough to claw back the win as York could not show the same dominance they had shown in previous weeks that had seen them beat Bradford and Durham 4s. A valiant effort from York did not give the returns they deserved, but this should not overshadow the strength of play, especially in the last two events which made a noble attempt to regain lost ground. If York can show the same grit and desire they did in the épée and foil then they will certainly win more than they lose this season.

After this defeat, York now sit second in the Northern 2A division on six points and a 110 point-difference, with Durham 2s now overtaking them with nine points and a 104 point-difference in the quest for promotion. However, as we are only three games in and there are five games left this season, there is still plenty left to play for.

Next up for the York women’s fencing team is yet another home game against Durham, this time against the 3s on 15 November. York are looking to get right back on track for the Northern 2A division title which they’re fully capable of challenging for.